Morphological characterization and breeding system identification of local sheep breeds in Niger uri icon

abstract

  • In Niger, livestock breeding is the second rural population activity, contributing 12% to the national GDP and 40% to agricultural production. The national livestock include a large range of domestic animal species among which ovine species, which represent 20% of this livestock. These ovine resources constitute an important genetic variety source, well adapted to the rough environmental conditions of Niger. However, these genetic resources are generally very little known and subjected to inappropriate breeding practices by their holders (shepherds and farmers). These factors contribute to reducing their productive and reproductive potential and threaten the integrity of some native breeds. Figure 1 Evolution of the geometric mean of FEC (eggs/gram) (mean of FEC at weeks 4 and 6 after kidding) Columns topped by different letters differ significantly (P ,0.05). In order to prevent these risks, it is indispensable to learn more on the breeds and dread farmer?s motivation for anarchic breeding practices. This study was aimed at prospecting farmers? management followed by an inventory and morphological characterization of these ovine resources in their own ecosystem. Investigation data were analyzed by SAS software (SAS Vs9). Ninety breeders were surveyed among which 91% stemming from the rural population show three main types of traditional systems exploiting ovine resources according to their food behavior and breeding environment: the extensive system (30% of the breeders) where supply is essentially based on natural pastures; the semi-extensive system (65% of the breeders), which associates breeding and where the agriculture is expanding in the sahel; the Urban and Outer-urban system (5% of the breeders) in which the main part of animals supply comes from household residues and some bought feed. Moreover, in these systems, cross-breeding is common, thus, about 51% of the investigated breeders have crossed subjects voluntarily or not in their herds. The characterization investigations were carried out on 324 Niger sheep; the breed phenotypic characterization for their production field, spread over 4 ethnic regions (Fakara, Sinder, Manga and Zarmaganda) and concerned 5 Niger native sheep breeds among which three meat breeds: the Oudah with two-colored fleece and Bali Bali with fleece are both of big size and raised by Fulani communities in southwest areas; the Tuareg Ara Ara breed is high on leg with average size being used in the north pastoral regions; two wool breads ? the Koudoum found on the banks and Kourte` ye islands of Niger River and the Toubou or Hadine breeds in Manga (in the southeast); Besides these breads, there are two breeds introduced for strong butcher capacities ? the Balami (native of Nigeria) introduced constantly by shepherds into border areas of Nigeria and the Sudanese (native of Sudan) introduced recently into Manga areas via the Chadian border

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010